How Does Dry Mouth Affect Your Dental Health?

Most individuals have dealt with a common condition called dry mouth or xerostomia from time to time. However, if it becomes a constant, chronic issue, then it can lead to major health problems if left unaddressed, especially when it comes to your dental health and there are some symptoms of dry mouth we are going to see. If you have constant dry mouth or xerostomia, read on this informative blog to learn the causes, symptoms and dental health complications of low saliva.

What is Dry Mouth Exactly?

Dry mouth is also known as xerostomia, dry mouth is a common condition in which the salivary glands in your mouth fails to generate an adequate amount of saliva, causing your mouth to feel dry this what we can say symptoms of dry mouth. It can make it hard to eat, talk and digest food and often lead to malnutrition. There are several causes of dry mouth, from certain medications to serious medical conditions. Moreover, If you suffer from this condition, you may be at serious risk of oral health and other severe dental health issues.

What are the Causes of Dry Mouth?

As already mentioned earlier, xerostomia can be a symptom of innumerable health problems and can occur as an individual get older. Other than the age factor, anxiety and stress are some of the most common culprits. Dehydration or not drinking enough water is another common reason for short-term dry mouth or xerostomia The condition is a known side effect of numerous medications such as blood pressure, depression, heart tablets. A health care provider or dental professional should be able to suspect whether medications can lead to problems. Dry mouth is also a known side effect of medical treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation cancer treatments. If you are constantly suffering from dry mouth for more than a week, for getting to the bottom of the problem, visit your physician or dental professional as soon as possible and get yourself clinically check.

What are the Common Signs and Symptoms of Dry Mouth?

There are several symptoms of dry mouth to look out for, but the most common ones include:

  • Dry feeling in the mouth (the obvious one)
  • A sticky feeling around the gums
  • Sore mouth
  • Thick, stringy saliva
  • A burning sensation or sharp pain on the tongue or in the mouth
  • Cracks at the corner of the mouth or in the lips 
  • A tough, dry tongue
  • Difficulty chewing, speaking or swallowing

If you are at risk for xerostomia, you might notice these above-mentioned symptoms of dry mouth. So, don’t let the annoying dry feeling go overlooked.

Dental Damage Due to Dry Mouth

Insufficient saliva production in the mouth can be annoying but it can also lead to severe dental damage. Saliva is an essential part of dental health. It only keeps your mouth wet, but as a natural defence helps to control harmful bacteria and tartar buildup in the mouth and prevent cavities. With decreased production of saliva in the mouth, several dental health issues can arise. Some of the dental issues are as follows:

  1. Tooth Decay: Insufficient saliva in the mouth allows plaque, harmful acids, and food particles to sit at the base of your teeth resulting in tooth decay.
  2. Gum Disease: Due to the increased accumulation of tartar and plaque surrounding the gums, gum disease becomes a common dental complication.
  3. Enamel Erosion: Dry mouth can increase the risk of enamel erosion by leaving behind harmful acids that wear off the protective layer of the teeth. The eroded enamel layer can leave the teeth vulnerable to root canal infection and tooth decay. 
  4. Dental Stains: Both enamel erosion and the increased levels of food debris pose a greater risk of dental staining and discoloration

Few last words

All in all, good dental hygiene habits are of utmost importance! Brush your teeth at least twice per day with fluoride toothpaste and be sure to floss once daily. Since dry mouth can be caused due to many reasons, it is essential to seek professional treatment to protect your dental health. A specialist can help you get a clear picture!